Unraveling the Mystery: Debunking Common Misconceptions About AI

May 14, 2024

Hey! 👋

As a Product Manager and previous Founder, I have been on a mission to dive deep into the captivating world of artificial intelligence (AI) ahead of the AI summit.

I have been speaking to some experts here at leading AI company, Hertzian, who specialise in industry-leading sentiment analysis. I came into this space with a mixture of excitement and curiosity, but also a fair share of misconceptions swirling around in my head.  So, I want to debunk some common AI myths, separating fact from fiction is key to truly understanding its potential.

Myth #1: AI is Too Complex for Real-World Applications

One of the biggest misconceptions I encountered was the idea that AI is some abstract, futuristic concept that has little relevance to our everyday lives. From personalised recommendations on streaming platforms to self-driving cars navigating our streets, AI is all around us, quietly revolutionising the way we live, work, and play. In fact, many new game releases use AI sentiment analysis to pick up on how players feel about the game and key trends, so publishers can improve the game for users! The same application works in healthcare, allowing hospitals to understand key trends in their patient surveys, and to make targeted improvements to patient care.

A real example of this is when the NHS used Hertzian’s AI suite to build sentiment and semantic systems for the categorisation of data for surveys. The challenge was that while the NHS gathers feedback regularly, without automated systems the time to actionable insights was months, resulting in a slow time to action (not great for patients). With the use of Hertzian’s AI, the time to insights was reduced from 3-6 months to 1-3 weeks and the NHS got results up to x24 faster, leading to faster improvements to the patient experience. A great example of how AI helps make a positive impact in the real-world.

Myth #2: AI Will Take Over All Our Jobs

The age-old fear of robots stealing our jobs. It's a narrative that often dominates discussions about AI, but the reality is far more nuanced. While AI certainly has the potential to automate certain tasks, it also creates new opportunities and frees up humans to focus on more meaningful, creative work. It's not about replacement; it's about augmentation.

Case Study: Imagine manually trawling through feedback and comments on Facebook, Discord, Trip Advisor, X and more, to understand how a new product feature is being received by customers... that would be a LOT of scrolling by team members! Instead, AI can process the data at much faster rate (light speed!), allowing teams to analyse and make inferences from the data. Ultimately, letting people work on the important day-to-day and strategic tasks, and allowing AI systems to perform laborious tasks.

Myth #3: AI is Completely Objective and Unbiased

Contrary to popular belief, AI systems are not infallible paragons of objectivity. In fact, they can inherit biases from the data they are trained on, leading to potentially harmful outcomes. Recognising and addressing these biases is crucial to building fair and equitable AI systems that serve everyone.

David Dixon, Machine Learning and Data Scientist (Speaker at the AI Summit) shared an interesting example of where human input is required for niche words. You may (or may not have) heard of the term ‘birb’, a colloquial term for a very cute fluffy bird. This was first regarded as a word with negative sentiment by AI, but the Hertzian team reviewed and identified this, tagging it as positive, improving the AI results. The shows that human input and sense-checking is still required to remove inherent data biases. Although, once updated this improves future results.

Myth #4: An AI Based Tool is Better Than a Non-AI tool

Ever heard someone say that AI is like a ‘black box’, with its inner workings shrouded in mystery? Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a field of AI in computer science about reducing this ‘black box’ issue called ‘AI observability’.  While AI algorithms can be complex, there are tools and techniques available to shed light on their decision-making processes, making them more transparent and understandable.

Andy Husband, CTO and Co-Founder at Hertzian, debunks this myth: “Trained engineers have ideas of how inputs affect outputs, and the parameters and hyperparameters that can be tweaked to improve performance. However, there is a level of abstraction not seen in traditional software development. Therefore, care needs to be taken to avoid the trend to include AI in everything, which isn’t necessarily a good thing”.

So, in summary, while AI is great and solves problems not traditionally solvable, it shouldn’t just be included for the sake of including AI. In a true Product Manager and Founder mindset, think about what the problem is? Then see if AI can help with the solution, however there may be a better non-AI tool instead!

Myth #5: AI Will Replace Human Creativity

Last but certainly not least, the myth that AI will render human creativity obsolete. As someone who values the boundless potential of human ingenuity, this couldn't be further from the truth. AI can certainly assist and inspire creativity, but it will never replace the unique spark that drives human innovation. For example, IBM’s Watson and Sony’s Flow Machine are two examples of companies that have harnessed the power of AI to create music, however the prompts were driven by talented individuals.

Take a look ⬆️

So, if you want to find out more about fast-evolving world of AI and hear expert speakers from the likes of Fortune 500 company, Hershey, and leaders in Government, the Hertzian AI Summit is great place to be (tickets here – with Day 2 workshop tickets under £10)  

As I continue to navigate my way through the fascinating world of AI, I am excited to debunk more myths, unravel more mysteries, and ultimately, contribute to shaping a future where AI works hand in hand with humanity to achieve incredible things! 🚀

Written by Tanuvi Ethunandan

Product Manager at Hertzian

Post Originally Published On:
May 14, 2024
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